Now Is A Good Time For Investors To Look At The Rate Sensitivity In Their Portfolios

Mamta Badkar

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Now Is A Good Time For Investors To Look At The Rate Sensitivity In Their Portfolios (AllianceBernstein Blog)

"Though they’ve defied expectations this year, higher interest rates appear to be all but inevitable," writes Chris Marx at AllianceBernstein Blog. "Investors need to take measure of the rate sensitivity in their portfolios—and stay agile—to negotiate the rough market crosscurrents a rate reversal may bring." While stocks typically do well in an environment when rates rise and the economy strengthens, stocks in "some “safer” (income-oriented) industries, such as utilities, tobacco, telecom and real estate investment trusts, are the most obviously vulnerable," Marx writes. "Their dividends will look less appealing as the yields on less volatile fixed-income alternatives climb." Housing related stocks could also be hit. 

"On the other side of the ledger, a rotation out of defensives would likely favor cheaper, more cyclically sensitive stocks in materials, energy and consumer discretionary industries. But positive rate sensitivity lurks in many other corners as well.  Financial stocks are an obvious example. Banks typically see a nice boost in their net interest margins if long-term rates rise faster than short-term rates (as is typical in an economic recovery)."

Jim Chanos Blows Up The 2 Most Commonly Cited Arguments Against Short-Selling (Bloomberg Radio)

Jim Chanos, director of Kynikos Associates shot down two short-selling truisms in a Bloomberg Radio interview with Barry Ritholtz. First, he rejected the idea that you can make a maximum of 100% by shorting a stock. "If you start with a short position at $100 with no other cash in your account, and you short the stock and it goes down to $50, you can, without adding any more cash capital to the account, short additional shares," he said. "And if it keeps going your way, you can compound your return." Chanos also dismissed the argument that short-sellers face infinite losses. He pointed out that they can put in stop-losses or automatic price levels to cover the short. 

"These are examples of thinking that that are accurate on their face, but in practicality they're inaccurate," Chanos said. "Because you structure things to not let that happen and you can actually get protection through the structure of the investment vehicle to obviate those risks. But having said all that, they do play into behavioral finance."

Why Advisors Need To Hire Interns (The Wall Street Journal)

Sabrina Lowell, COO of Mosaic Financial Partners thinks advisors should hire interns to handle time consuming quantitative tasks. "For doing things like sending out and proofreading questionnaires, and inputting financial data into our system, interns are perfect," she writes in a WSJ column.

"...Other process-driven tasks that interns perform well include keeping clients' beneficiary designations up-to-date; researching the stock plans of publicly traded companies in search of new clients who could benefit from stock-option planning; and identifying clients' deposit habits. These are fundamental planning practices that tend to fall to the bottom of the pile."

FLECKENSTEIN: There’s 'No Chance' That This Ends Well (King World News)

Bill Fleckenstein, President of Fleckenstein Capital, told King World News that he anticipated big problems for stocks and bonds down the road. "There’s no chance that the outcome in the financial markets in America is a pleasant one because we’ve gotten here because of the printed money," Fleckenstein said. "And so either we have a boatload of inflation and at some point the bond market really gets wrecked and the Fed’s credibility is undermined and we do something about them…"

"This can’t possibly end well. This has gone on for so long. It’s still not possible to say when it’s going to change and what’s going to be the catalyst. The important thing to understand is that this is a very fragile structure. The market is very crash-prone. There’s not going to be any liquidity on the downside because of what’s happened in the banks — the algorithms and all that other stuff."

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